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Professional Military Education: The First Steps in the Indian Context

Lt Gen Harinder Singh, Retd, is Former DGMI and Commandant IMA. He has tenanted several important command and staff assignments in the Indian Army. The author can be contacted at harinder41[at]
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  • November 30, 2010

    Military leaders must think critically, demonstrate professional acumen, and, above all, lead the rank and file in dangerous and difficult situations. As such, the militaries cannot be complacent when it comes to producing combat leaders capable of meeting the challenges and threats at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. It is increasingly becoming important to invest in professional military education (PME) to groom officers capable of meeting the rigours of complex politico-military crises and conflicts of the future. The recent proposal to create the Indian National Defence University (INDU) under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to meet the professional needs of the three services is therefore a step in the right direction. In addressing this challenge, there are several issues that might need serous attention. None perhaps is as important as the selection and fielding of a multi-disciplinary faculty. This Brief examines the issue at three levels: broad planning considerations; a proposed faculty structure; and the initial steps required to evolve a vibrant faculty. It argues that the real test will lie in creating a professional advisory board, a multi-disciplinary faculty, and a fair mix of military and civilian professorship that induces richness and rigour in Indian military thinking of the future.

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